IKE MEMORIAL

new tapestry art -- cliffs 09.08.17

The Eisenhower Memorial is slowly edging towards realization as the  GSA has recently hired a construction company to begin work. Now a major change is revealed. The long mesh screen in front of the Education Building originally carried a photographic image of the Kansas prairie (Ike’s birthplace). This was later changed to another image, the landscape around Omaha Beach, one of the landing sites of the WWII Normandy invasion of which Eisenhower was Supreme Commander. Neither image was particularly striking, or for that matter, particularly recognizable. In any case, I’ve always thought that photography was the wrong inspiration for what Gehry insisted on calling a “tapestry.” A block-long photographic image doesn’t make me think of a Gobelin, it conjures up a billboard. Now the image has changed again. It is a drawing, presumably by Gehry, of Pointe du Hoc, the promontory between Utah and Omaha Beaches that was scaled by U. S. Rangers during the invasion. Critics will say that the impressionistic drawing it too much Gehry. But is the Sherman Memorial in New York City too much Saint-Gaudens? I think not. A drawing seems right to me.

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